I love to use Green Screen Technology in my classroom! You don’t need a fancy set up and once trained, my students run the show. Using green screen technology is a great way to extend students and a great project for early finishers. I love to use the green screen as a culmination to a unit of study. As a class, we did this at the end of our Super Storms unit and the videos came out amazing!
You can create both still images and videos using the green screen, both are simple to do. For videos, the only challenging part is recording the audio, and making sure everyone is being quiet during filming.
Typically, we will use our green screen area as the last step in our writing projects.
Once students have written and typed their paragraphs, they can create a green screen project.
We have a piece of fabric hanging on the wall permanently but that isn’t necessary. In the past, I have clipped up the fabric to cabinets when needed. A permanent installation is nice, but not required.
There are a few things you will need to get started. First, you need a few apps. I use the Do Ink green screen app, which is a paid app but worth the price. At the time of publishing this post, it was $4.99 in the Apple Store. The app is available for both iPhones and iPads, IOS only at this time.
My students have created some amazing projects using our green screen classroom space.
We have used the Do Ink app to create projects for similes with students floating in teacups, gazing out from the Eiffel Tower, and sitting in the middle of tornados for a unit on super storms. They have appeared sitting on the backs of giants dogs and petting enormous cats. The green screen has an endless amount of uses and my students love it.
I learned so much from Anita Goodwin on her blog and social media when I got started. Do Ink also has great tutorials and I watched all of them also. What took me the longest was knowing which image went on which layer. The layers on Do Ink work backward, the top image will be in the front and subsequent layered images will go behind the first image.
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:
- Green Screen Fabric – I bought mine on Amazon for less than 30$ and it is huge so I cut it into two pieces. I don’t use anything elaborate, it is just stapled to the wall.
- Do Ink App (I have used it both on my phone and the iPad in the classroom)
- Pixabay or Pics4Learning for background photos
Pixabay photos are amazing, royalty-free, and free to download, as well as really high-quality images. You can download them directly to your device and use them for backgrounds. Although, be careful, not all their photos are age-appropriate for kids. If I download some images ahead of time it works great.
For students to choose their own photos I use Pics4Learning.
There are fewer images to choose from on Pics4Learning but their library is curated for students. All their photos are deemed safe, free, and copyright-friendly. Their main page is set up with collections and makes searching easy for students to find photos for their projects.
We use a stool under the fabric if students want to be floating in the image or placed on top of something. One tip we learned is to minimize wrinkles in the fabric, they will show up as dark shadows. You could also paint a stool and keep it on top of the fabric. The specific color of paint is called Chroma Key Green. This can be found online or at Home Depot. I have seen where classrooms will paint pizza boxes and use figurines for story retelling. Painted chopsticks with the figurine glued to the end work great to move the figure in front of the camera.
I can’t tell you how fun these projects are, try it you will be hooked! My students love them and are so engaged! As a final step we use Seesaw in my classroom and we post final projects for parents to view. Let me know if you try Green Screen in your classroom, I would love to hear about it!
Until next time,